A report in The Sydney Morning Herald on 1 May 2012 pointed out that turning the heating up or down can be a source of tension in many households, and Prince Charles’ home, Highgrove, is no exception.
This came from a story in the London Daily Telegraph on 30 April 2012 by Gordon Rayner,” The Prince of Wales: why I have to fight over the heating thermostat at Highgrove”
In an interview with the TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp Prince Charles had hinted at battles with the Duchess of Cornwall over his preference for wearing extra clothes rather than turning up the thermostat as he made a virtue of penny-pinching.
But in a letter published in The Herald on the day following the report, the newspaper was criticised for its approach. Paul Bugeja of Sans Souci, NSW, who wrote:
“I was disappointed to read a small article in yesterday's Herald about the Prince of Wales with the headline ''Prince lives like pauper''.
“Prince Charles is committed to living an environmentally responsible life. At a time when even small moves by consumers to be more mindful of energy use, recycling and not over-consuming could make a difference to the parlous state of our planet, Prince Charles, with all the money available to him, is a positive role model.
“It also sadly indicates the media still doesn't understand that poking fun at such people is ugly and undignified. Prince Charles is princely in every sense of the word.”
…Prince Charles speaks…
“I don’t mind keeping the heating down as long as I can have a hot bath,” the Prince had told Ms. Allsopp. (The full interview appears in the June issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale in London on 3 May.)
“Most people think it is too cold. I never hear the end of it. But I am one of those people who have a strange circulation. I think I have inherited it from Queen Victoria who also liked sitting in a draft.”
The Telegraph says the Prince is a passionate advocate of recycling, and discloses the lengths to which he goes to practise what he preaches.
“I hate throwing things away,” he said. “I am always trying to find ways of re-using things. There are bits of this, bits of that everywhere. For example, we’ve had to take curtains down in my bathroom and I was seeing how we could make cushions out of them.
“[If] you throw things away and they languish somewhere, then you regret the fact that someone is making a vast amount of money out of all the things you’ve chucked out.
“It is one of the things that has driven me mad all my life. I’ve often stopped people throwing things away; all those wonderful Victorian lavatories, for example.
“I put my bathwater on the garden in the summer – it all helps.”
The Prince makes no apologies for his refusal to keep up with fashion trends, preferring his rigid adherence to double-breasted suits and favourite old overcoats, the report states.
“I’m like a stopped clock,” he said. “I am only ‘with it’ once every 25 years, because it all comes around again.”
The heir to the throne even believes Kindles and e-books will be a passing fad, and that “real” books will never go out of fashion.
“We have Wi-Fi and all sorts of modern things at Highgrove – I’m not saying you’ve got to go back to medieval days,” he said.
“People tend to go berserk over the latest things but before long the novelty wears off. How sad if you were to chuck away all the books, only to find that eventually it comes round again, because I’m sure people will rediscover the joy of a real book.”
The Prince joked that his hobbies of painting and hedge-laying keep him “sane…ish!” and told Miss Allsopp, an ambassador for the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, that his sons pull his leg about his constant speeches on environmental issues.
“They say ‘Oh, he’s on again’, you know. But you never quite know with your children, do you? Because although they may pull your leg all the time, sometimes you find out later they have talked to other people about it.”